CM First Removes IBM i Requirement From ALM
October 17, 2018 Alex Woodie
Companies that are adopting the application lifecycle management (ALM) software from CM First no longer need an IBM i server, the company announced recently. The move with CM MatchPoint is intended to widen the deployment options for CM First’s targeted customer base, which is CA Plex and 2E users.
CM MatchPoint is used to automate the development of CA Plex and CA 2E environments, particularly among large development teams that are geographically dispersed. The software manages several aspects of Plex and 2E development, from user-submitted change requests and workflow to version control and deployment.
With the delivery of CM MatchPoint version 6.5 last month, the Austin, Texas-based company migrated the product’s backend from RPG to Java, which enables the product to run on any server that supports a Java runtime, including IBM i, Windows, and Linux. Previously, the software only ran on IBM i, which is the only platform today that runs RPG code.
This change opens up the deployment options for MatchPoint customers, whether they’re deploying the applications they developed in the Plex or 2E fourth generation language (4GL) environments on IBM i or another platform. While 2E generates RPG code and is tied to the IBM i platform, Plex generates a range of other 3GLs (C++, C#, and Java) that run on open systems platforms like Windows, Linux, and Unix.
Plex customers who deploy on Windows or Linux servers will have the most to gain from MatchPoint 6.5’s support for open-systems. However, the news could also be beneficial to IBM i shops that want more options for running their ALM software.
CM First is supporting SQL Server and Db2 for i databases with the JDBC connector in MatchPoint, which makes Windows Server a more likely candidate for hosting the ALM software than Windows. However, customers are free to source their own JDBC connection to Linux, if they are so inclined.
Christoph Heinrich, the head of business development for CM First, says the upgrade to MatchPoint 6.5 is fully automated, and that customers are given the choice of where to run the application server and the database. “Customers can leave the database on the IBM i and connect via JDBC, which can be important for customers who built custom reports or interfaces with other applications,” he tells IT Jungle.
IBM i shops who choose to use SQL Server can still deploy to IBM i servers, Heinrich says. “It’s important to mention that even when customers move the CM MatchPoint database to MS SQL, they can still support all the IBM i deployment processes,” he says. “All they need to do is install the IBM i component on all the IBM i servers that all involved in the deployment process.”
MatchPoint 6.5 brings several other new features, including updates to the Subversion connector to allow groups of users to store the CA Plex Group model within the SVN repository. The updates put the SVN repository in control of versioning of course code, and also automates the process of extracting and updating group models managed with Subversion, the company says. The update also allows individual users to have their own SVN repository for local models.
Developers who are tired of waiting for their CA Plex builds to complete will appreciate the new auto-generation capabilities in MatchPoint 6.5. The company says the new capabilities allow builds for C++, C# and Java to occur automatically without supervision, which will be useful for long unattended generation and build processes. CM First says this can be a standalone process or integrated with its MatchPoint Ticketing systems for greater automation.
CM First develops a range of tools aimed at 2E and Plex environments. For 2E, the company offers M3 (or Model-based Modernization Methodology), which allows customers to migrate their 2E models into a “modern Java client architecture.” It also offers CM WebClient, which automatically generates mobile and Web interfaces directly from the Plex models.